Know When the Flu Becomes an Emergency?


Flu emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Therefore, if you or your family member experiences such a situation, visit the emergency room near you or call 911 as soon as possible. The experts at the walk in clinic will evaluate the problematic signs and offer prompt treatment.

Symptoms That Require Immediate Care

If you are an adult and see the following signs, seek emergency care without delay:

High Fever

Although fever is a common flu symptom, a high temperature indicates an emergency. The normal body temperature falls between 98.4 to 99 Deg Fah. Therefore, if you see your temperature is more than 102 Deg Fah or your kid has a fever above 104 Degrees Fah, visit the nearby emergency clinic today.


Severe dehydration is another thing to watch for. It can occur when you lose hydration via vomiting or diarrhea or cannot consume fluids. When our body loses more water, it creates a fluid and imbalance of electrolytes. Severe dehydration accompanied by the flu symptoms makes the situation dangerous.

Thus, if you notice dark or low urine or dry mouth, call the emergency room quickly. The professional may give intravenous fluids to manage the dehydration signs.

Blood in Sputum

If you notice blood in your coughed-up mucus (aka sputum) and saliva, it’s a medical emergency and needs immediate care. It could also indicate other conditions like bronchitis, certain cancers, COPD, and pneumonia. Blood can also occur from the stomach, lungs, or other body parts. Urgent care clinics will help you find the proper cause and suggest suitable treatment.

Shortness of Breath or Breathing Issues

If you find it difficult to breathe or you are breathing too fast, there could be something wrong. It can indicate pneumonia (which is a dangerous lung infection and a common complication of the flu). Pneumonia also affects air sacs. It fills the lungs with mucus and makes it difficult to breathe.

Persistent or Worsening Flu Signs

The symptoms of flu usually go away within one or two weeks. But if the symptoms stay persistent after this time or they get worse, it’s a red flag to look at. In this case, immediate treatment is essential. Other warning signs include chest pain, confusion, dizziness, and blue skin color (mainly in the lips and pressure in the abdomen).

Emergency Warning Signs in Children

  • Fever with rashes.
  • Breathing difficulties or fast breathing.
  • Not communicating or waking up.
  • Blue skin color.
  • Irritation.
  • Symptoms that seem to improve but then return with even worse cough and fever.

Emergency Warning Signs in Infants

  • Breathing issues.
  • Less urination or tears when crying.
  • Not able to eat.

Should I Visit the Emergency Room?

For most people, the flu gets better on their own and they don’t even need medical care. However, in certain cases when the symptoms turn severe, it is essential to reach the ER near you immediately.

It means few medical conditions indicate medical emergencies. Emergency rooms are best to handle these cases. You can call 911 for an ambulance. The professional will monitor and begin treatment before you reach the hospital. Flu symptoms usually turn worse quickly. So, immediate treatment is essential.

Should I Visit a Doctor for Flu Symptoms?

When you have flu symptoms, it is challenging to decide whether to schedule an appointment with the emergency room, your primary care doctor, or an urgent care clinic near you. Hospitals usually have tons of patients in the emergency rooms. It can lead to long waiting times and overcrowding. If you are struggling with less serious flu symptoms, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a primary care physician.

He/she is well familiar with your family and medical history. The expert also understands you and your children inside – out and schedules the appointment quickly. On the other hand, if you are a high-risk flu patient, the Express ERs can help. Make sure you correctly describe your condition and the severity of your symptoms before fixing an appointment.

Complications of Flu

Few people are more prone to getting flu complications. These include:

  • Pregnant women.
  • People with chronic conditions and illnesses.
  • Individuals of age 65 or more.

Flu can cause the following complications:

  • Pneumonia.
  • Inflammation of the brain, heart, or muscle tissues.
  • Respiratory tract infections that result in sepsis.
  • Ear and sinus infection.
  • Failure of multiple organs.
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